- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 27, 2017

August and September is prime time for bodacious food — deep-fried and often on a stick — as featured in the nation’s state fairs. Sampling such fare is a primary obligation for politicians, election year or not. Indulging in fair food is a sure fire way to appear as a folksy candidate in touch with constituents. But alas, such encounters are not without peril for political hopefuls, often caught by press photographers in an inopportune moment with a funnel cake. So without further ado, here’s just a small sampling of fair fare.

Texas State Fair: deep-fried chicken noodle soup on a stick, deep-fried Fruit Loops, beer-battered beef jerky, fried redneck wedding cake balls, fried Texas sheet cake.

Indiana State Fair: smothered tater tots with ground bison and nacho cheese, deep-fried corn dog rolled in macaroni and cheese, chocolate-covered bacon, doughnut burger, deep-fried chocolate-covered strawberries.

Alaska State Fair: sourdough corn fritters, spicy reindeer sausage, buffalo bratwurst, caribou steak sandwiches, chicken parfait, Denali cream puffs, Bristol Bay salmon quesadillas, Prince William Sound oysters, boiled peanuts, blueberry popcorn.

Wisconsin State Fair: apple pie nachos, cricket nachos, bacon ravioli, deep-fried Nutella, Cajun alligator sausage burrito, sangria on-a-stick, wild boar BLT on-a-stick.

Iowa State Fair: chocolate-covered chocolate chip cookie dough on-a-stick, jumbo toasted marshmallow on a stick, shrimp corndog, deep-fried Thanksgiving balls (fresh vegetables and ground turkey breaded with stuffing and drizzled with cranberry sauce).

Minnesota State Fair: deep-fried duck bacon wontons, swine and spuds on-a-stick (bacon-wrapped pork belly and mashed potato croquettes), cherry bombs (deep-fried red licorice doughnuts), deep-fried avocado, bacon-smothered turkey leg.

New Jersey State Fair: oxtails and rice, smoked whiskey and vanilla fudge, deep-fried bubble gum, pig butt on-a-stick, alligator sliders, alligator mac ‘n’ cheese.


Analysts ponder the politics of “Game of Thrones,” the ongoing Medieval-style saga, which offers much hubbub and has an obsessed audience. On Monday, a spate of experts will weigh in on the political underpinnings of the production at a Cato Institute forum in the nation’s capital, just 24 hours after the grand finale of Season 7.

“Why is Westeros mired in 8,000 years of economic stagnation? Should Daenerys firebomb King’s Landing to prevent a longer war?” the organizers ask. “The world of ‘Game of Thrones’ is teeming with fascinating interactions between institutions, incentives, and power that creates a sweeping geopolitical mega-saga just begging to be theorized. This is an examination of these issues through the lens of economics, law, international relations, and power politics promises to be both instructive and entertaining — an exploration of the intrigue and game theory (and inevitable analogies to our current political landscape) that pervade the world of ice and fire.”

The experts: Cato scholar Ilya Somin, Vox co-founder Matt Yglesias, Reason senior editor Peter Suderman and Washington Post culture columnist Alyssa Rosenberg. R Street Institute analyst Caleb Watney is moderator. The event will be live streamed at 6:30 p.m. ET at CATO.org/live.


Yes, President Trump coined the phrase “fake news” to identify faulty news coverage which often comes his way. Can the public readily spot fake news as well? A new Economist/YouGov poll reveals that 71 percent of Americans say they know fake news if they see it. See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.


Though some politicians, activists and journalists have rethought the historical standing of America’s Founding Fathers who were slave owners, the public appears reluctant to share this opinion. “Ninety-four percent of voters agree that it is better to try to learn from the wrongs of the past than to erase them,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey.

Another 90 percent oppose closing or changing Mount Rushmore because two of the four presidents the site honors were slave owners.

The poll also found that 88 percent of the voters oppose removing the names of Washington and Jefferson from public places, or taking down the statues which honor them.


Author and conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has not gotten a cordial reception at the University of California, Berkeley in recent years. Riots ensued when he last paid a call. Nonetheless, Mr. Yiannopoulos plans to return to the California campus with an agenda on Sept. 24. With help from the Berkeley Patriots — a student group — he is planning “Berkeley Free Speech Week,” with details to come he says.

“We are bringing people together to exercise America’s most powerful right, free speech. Universities around the country have the First Amendment under siege, but that all changes at Berkeley Free Speech Week,” declares Mr. Yiannopoulos. “We will demonstrate that conservatives, libertarians, and even liberals can come together and peacefully express themselves. This should be happening on every college campus every day, but at least we will start at Berkeley.”


71 percent of Americans are “confident” they can tell real news from fake news.

51 percent disapprove of the job President Trump has done handling the news media.

47 percent disapprove of the job the news media has done handling Mr. Trump.

43 percent say the national press has treated President Trump unfairly.

31 percent say the press has treated Mr. Trump fairly.

26 percent say the press has been both fair and unfair to Mr. Trump.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 20-22.

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